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Lenten Season Through the Lens of Food, Part 7

Caigua con Relleno de Pescado (Fish-Stuffed Caigua), recipe below 
Friday is fish on many plates for observant Christians. This particularly true during the Lenten season. In 1735, the Spaniard Jorge Juan Antonio De Ulloa, tell us that the city of Lima, Peru consisted of three cast which colonial official tried to keep separate: “whites, or Spaniards, Negroes, Indians, Mestizos [Indian/Spaniard], and other casts, proceeding from the mixture of all three,” he writes.  Fish represented the center of poor folks meals because it was inexpensive great tasting survival food. De Ulloa goes on to say, “The Negroes, Mulattoes, and their descendents, form the greater number of the inhabitants ... the negroes and other casts, live tolerably well [on] fish, which is little esteemed by the opulent, selling [it] at a low price. . . .”

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Lenten Season Series with Related Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Lenten+Season

Caigua con Relleno de Pescado (Fish-Stuffed Caigua) recipe
Caigua is a green hollow Peruvian gourd. If you cannot find one here in the states, use another gourd or sweet peppers as a substitute.

Ingredients

Stuffing
8 medium sweet red or green peppers
2 cups water
1 pound fish fillets, such as flounder, red snapper, etc.cut into 1-inch cubes
4 slices of multi-grain bread, crusts removed, and moistened with soy milk (to make 1 cup)
1 egg substitute or egg, beaten
1 medium onion, sliced thin (1/2 cup)
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

Sauce
1 tablespoon corn oil
¼ cup sliced onion
¼ cup chopped tomato
¼ teaspoon paprika
2 cloves garlic, ground to a paste with 2 tablespoons water
1 cup reserved fish broth

Method
Cut out a 2-inch round from the top of each pepper and remove the core and seeds. Set aside. Make the stuffing: Bring the water to a boil. Add the fish fillets, cover the pan, and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Remove the fish and cool. Reserve 1 cup sauce. Pull the cubes apart into threads. In a bowl mix the fish threads with the moistened bread and add the egg, onion, salt, and pepper, mixing well. Make the sauce: Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the onion, tomato, paprika, and garlic paste and stir-fry over low heat for 3 minutes. Add the 1 cup reserved fish broth and bring to a boil. Fill the peppers with the fish stuffing and replace the tops. (Should there be any stuffing left over, shape egg-sized fish balls and set aside.) Place the stuffed peppers in the sauce (with any fish balls from any leftover stuffing). Simmer, covered, over low heat for 15 minutes. Serve hot, with brown or white rice. Serves 8.

Peruvian Foodways and Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Peru


Anthony Bourdan on Peruvian Foods: [Watch 15 min]  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ipgr-SX8O8

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